Hearing about the plight of natural areas around the world-areas invaded by non-native species, sullied by pollution, and beset by a host of problems linked to climate change-can create a feeling of helplessness. One may hardly know where to start when confronting global phenomena. You’ll find a way out of this dilemma, however, in San Francisco on Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Here, make a small but significant start on preventing and undoing damage to the environment by participating in the Golden Gate National Parks Day of Service. Volunteers can help maintain trails, restore habitats, and clean beaches. They can also contribute to planting projects and help birds find nesting materials.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area is the 31st national park to appear in a series of weekly National Park Getaways, (www.nps.gov/getaways) online articles that introduce prospective travelers to, or remind them of, places where they can reconnect with nature, history, family and friends. Often, a getaway is about getting – that is, what you will get out of a visit to Jewel Cave, Cuyahoga Valley or another featured destination. This week’s getaway, however, helps people to plan a trip that is as much about giving as it is about getting. The feature piece and photographs put readers in touch with more information about giving time and efforts to the recreation area on Jan. 18. Readers will also discover some surprises and hidden gems of the park. The offerings of this urban park include historic places, beaches and opportunities to hike. Among the redwoods and alongside the Pacific Ocean, beauty abounds. Maintain this beauty and savor it on the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. From National Park Service